Donna Dunbar is excited to return to hosting weekly Bible studies after being banned from holding religious gatherings in her apartment's community social room.
Dunbar, a retired senior citizen in Florida, was denied access to the social room in her apartment last year for holding meetings about religious content.
The ban came after the Cambridge Housing Board put a policy into effect that prohibited prayers and other religious services, observations, or meetings of any nature from occurring in the apartment's shared spaces.
Dunbar is a lay minister and the recipient of the President's Volunteer Service Award. Each week, Dunbar would hold a small Bible study in the Cambridge House Condominiums social room.
A recently reached settlement, however, will allow Dunbar to resume use of the social room on a weekly basis to hold a Bible study without being found in conflict with special restrictions.
First Liberty Institute (FLI) is a nonprofit legal organization dedicated to defending religious freedom based in Texas. FLI brought Dunbar's concerns to the attention of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through filing a fair housing complaint.
In June 2018, FLI won a reversal at the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Mary Anne Sause, who received an order from police to stop praying in her home after a minor noise complaint was allegedly made. Sause is a devout Catholic.
Dunbar will continue to hold her weekly Bible study meetings in her condominium's social room.